Internet gambling helps Atlantic City casinos post first revenue hike in 10 years

Internet gambling has helped Atlantic City's casinos post their first revenue increase in a decade.

Figures released Thursday by state gambling regulators show the casinos earned $2.6 billion from gamblers in 2016, an increase of 1.5 percent from a year earlier.

The last time Atlantic City casino revenue increased was in 2006, just as a wave of Pennsylvania casinos began opening and drawing away Atlantic City's customers.

That year, there were 12 casinos in Atlantic City. There are now seven, and only two of those posted revenue declines.

The Trump Taj Mahal, which was opened by President-elect Donald Trump in 1990, shut down Oct. 10.

Many New Jersey residents tell News 12 New Jersey that they can't even remember the last time they went down to Atlantic City to gamble.

Internet gambling revenue in New Jersey rose by more than 32 percent last year, to nearly $197 million.

Rutgers Newark Economics Professor Arthur Guarino says this could be the start of a lot more gambling in a lot of different areas.

"I think the casinos are going to diversity as far as the services they offer, and I think online gambling is just going to be one of them," Guarino says.

Guarino also expects betting on professional sports, and college sports in the long term.

The U.S. Supreme Court could agree to hear New Jersey's case for legalized sports betting Friday in Washington. New Jersey has already lost two decisions over sports gambling in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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